It is almost two years since MTN Academy in partnership with Group Procurement launched a procurement qualification programme within the MTN Group. In November the Academy celebrated its 1st Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Level 6 graduate, Peruth Ntegeka from MTN Uganda.
Currently MTN has 134 students across the Group enrolled in the programme.
In order to achieve and elevate the status of Procurement, the MTN Academy enrolled its Procurement professionals with Commerce Edge Academy, a registered international study centre for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). Through Commerce Edge Academy’s (CEA’s) flexible online student support platform, TEBLOS (Tutor Enabled Blended Learning Online Support), MTN’s Procurement professionals are completing programmes at all CIPS levels.
Through TEBLOS students can study from their home or office at their own time and pace.
MTN Academy spoke to Peruth.
MTN Academy: Peruth, congratulations for completing all your levels of the CIPS programme! We are very proud of you.
Peruth: Thank you to MTN Academy indeed; I will forever be grateful for having given me the opportunity and being part of my career growth.
MTN Uganda Management staff, I thank you very much for providing a conducive environment for employees to progress in their studies.
My colleagues in the Procurement department, thanks a lot for covering me up while I was on study leave.
However, I must mention the support given by Commerce Edge Academy. The Commerce Edge Academy tutor, Ronald Mlalazi did the magic; he was always there whenever I had a question.
TEBLOS summarized everything and towards the exams I would concentrate on the revision notes which summarized the entire CIPS study book.
The quizzes on TEBLOS were very helpful and I would use them regularly to test my level of understanding.
MTN Academy: The average completion period per CIPS qualification level is 12 months, how long did it take you to complete all 3 levels?
Peruth: It took me in total 21 months to complete all 3 levels. I started with 2 modules in November 2009 before MTN Academy launched their education scheme. I then moved to MTN Academy scheme in May 2010, and wrote 8 subjects over 2 exam sittings, then between May 2011 and July 2011 I wrote 5 exams.
MTN Academy: This makes you an MCIPS accredited! MCIPS is equivalent to an Honors degree. How do you feel about that?
Peruth: My confidence level has increased because I feel I can take up any challenge, I feel proud for having been transformed from local to international level because now I can work anywhere in the world. Being a professional feels great.
MTN Academy: Did you experience any challenges during your studies? How did you manage to overcome them?
Peruth: Yes, sometimes it would be difficult to balance work and studies. My social life was very affected, family members and friends used to complain because I never had time for them, no parties, no visiting. At one point I stopped explaining myself and decided I will make up with family and friends after the books, which I am now doing and they are happy for me.
MTN Academy: What messages can you to give to MTN students who are still busy with the programme, and those who have not yet started?
Peruth: Students, to be honest with you, if you’re determined to become an MCIPS, you need to put some of the things you enjoy doing on the back-burner: they will always be there. Furthering your academic achievements feels really, really great.
Preparation is key: CIPS exams are practical and require that you apply your work experience. Engage in group discussions and go through past papers.
To those who have not enrolled, you’re missing out. Whenever an opportunity comes up please embrace it there and then. We live in a changing environment; who knows in the near future how things might change. MTN is exceptional: there are very few organisations that encourage their employees to study. It sponsors you 100%. We are all busy, but let CIPS be among the things keeping you busy. Two papers per sitting is not bad at all.
Knowledge is Power and for sure I feel empowered!
Credit should also be given to Mira Ristovich, the MTN Group Senior Business Performance Consultant, for the continuous and strong subject matter support she gives to the programme, says Bonga Mnengisa, MTN Group Learning Solutions Manager. Mira initiated the project and she always consults with and educates Heads of Procurement and Managers across the Group about the benefits of having their staff participate in the programme.
MTN Academy encourages Heads of Procurement to enroll their procurement staff in the programme to survive in the changing procurement environment.
MTN Academy’s CEA students are spread across the three qualifications levels offered in the CIPS programme:
1. Level 4: Foundational Diploma
2. Level 5: Advanced Diploma
3. Level 6: Graduate Diploma
CEA assists students to climb the CIPS qualifications ladder by means of tutor enabled blended learning and classroom-based tutorials. Through TEBLOS, CEA’s unique online student support technology, students are coached and supported every step of the way to successfully achieve a CIPS qualification, explains Ronald Mlalazi the CEA Education Manager and CIPS tutor.
TEBLOS, a web-based student support platform, is CEA’s unrivalled learning system through which the CIPS qualifications programme is provided. Through TEBLOS (Tutor Enabled Blended Learning Online Support), students can study from their home or office at their own time and pace.
The average completion period for a level is 12 months. Through application of the knowledge obtained whilst progressing through the CIPS levels, students are able to:
1. Practice procurement with enhanced purchasing and supply skills.
2. Think creatively and innovatively in solving supply related problems
3. Realize maximum value for the organization
4. Strategically position the procurement function to improve spend management.
5. Achieve efficiencies through systematization of procurement operations.
6. Improve supply risk management.
7. Improve vendor management.